Federal environment law and cycling in Canberra

bird s eye view of a mountain bike on a dirt road

The new Molonglo Valley estate development has stumbled over Federal environment law. Finally, the hard work is done. The Molonglo Valley will be two developments on either side of the Molonglo. Crossing the valley is difficult, not least for the cyclist.

Molonglo River, Coombs, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Molonglo River, Coombs, Molonglo Valley, Canberra

The whole of the Molonglo Valley is protected in one way or another. The area around Lake Burley Griffin to Coombs is under the watchful eye of the National Capital Authority, and from Coombs to the Murrumbidgee by the Federal environment law. The ACT Government estate developments must comply with both.

Annoucement of the Butters Bridge cycle bridge by the ACT Government in 2016

The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (Cth) is a Federal instrument. The Molonglo Valley is protected under the Act. The urban planning in the valley over 15 years has accumulated in the ACT Molonglo River Reserve: Reserve Management Plan 2019 (26 July 2019).

John Gorton Drive bridge, Molonglo Valley, Canberra. source: John Gorton Drive 3C Extension (JGD3C) 211 EIS Exemption Application, 27 September 2019
John Gorton Drive bridge, Molonglo Valley, Canberra. source: John Gorton Drive 3C Extension (JGD3C) 211 EIS Exemption Application, 27 September 2019

There will be few bridge crossings over the river and only recreational paths along the corridor. Butters Bridge was finished in 2016. It was announced as a cycling bridge but appears now to be reserved for pedestrians. John Gorton Drive bridge is in the works for completion in 2024. 

Molonglo Valley, Canberra. Source: Molonglo Valley Planning and Design Framework -Stage 3

With just the John Gorton Drive bridge available to cyclists it will be difficult to commute between town centres quickly and easily. Riding to work will be difficult due to a lack of any direct routes

The ACT Government is struggling in the Molonglo Valley. Canberra.bike will keep you informed of the cycling developments. 🙂

Molonglo River, Coombs, Molonglo Valley, Canberra
Molonglo River, Coombs, Molonglo Valley, Canberra

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